NTSB Identification: FTW03LA030.
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Accident occurred Thursday, October 31, 2002 in FORT STOCKTON, TX
Probable Cause Approval Date: 11/25/2003
Aircraft: Cessna 172G, registration: N6072R
Injuries: 1 Minor.

NTSB investigators may not have traveled in support of this investigation and used data provided by various sources to prepare this aircraft accident report.

The pilot reported to the FAA inspector, who traveled to the accident site, that while on a VFR night cross-country flight, above a solid overcast, he became concerned about the fuel status, and elected to descend the airplane through the weather. After breaking out of the overcast, the airplane impacted terrain, coming to rest in an open field. The pilot reported having accumulated approximately 2,500 flight hours, of which about 1,257 were accumulated in military aircraft, about 400 in the accident make and model, with about 30 hours within the preceding 30 days. The weather in the vicinity of the accident was reported as a 600-foot overcast ceiling, with the visibility at one mile in fog, with calm winds.

The National Transportation Safety Board determines the probable cause(s) of this accident to be:

The pilot's decision to conduct VFR flight into IMC and his failure to maintain terrain clearance. Contributing factors were the dark night, clouds, fog, and the lack of suitable terrain.

Full narrative available

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